Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that she felt "hurt and alone" during a meeting with Turkey’s president last month and that she was treated poorly simply because she is a woman.
The first female president of the European Commission and European Council President Charles Michel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara for talks on tense EU-Turkey relations.
But only two chairs were set out in front of the EU and Turkish flags for the three leaders and the two men sat in them.
Von der Leyen stood looking at the seated men, expressing her disquiet. She was later seated on a large beige sofa, away from her male counterparts.
Von der Leyen, who didn't publicly blame either Erdogan or Michel for the incident, said she saw no shortage of chairs in other similar meetings in the past.
“I felt hurt and I felt alone, as a woman, and as a European. Because it is not about seating arrangements or protocol. This goes to the core of who we are,” she said.
Excruciating moment jab shambles EU chief von der Leyen is left without a chair in snub by ‘sexist’ president Erdogan
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